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AB-2493 Beverage container recycling: recycling centers and payments.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 06/27/2018 09:00 PM
AB2493:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  June 27, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 17, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 22, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 2493


Introduced by Assembly Member Bloom

February 14, 2018


An act to amend Sections 14571, 14572, and 14585 14571 and 14572 of, to amend, repeal, and add Section 14509.4 of, and to add Sections Section 14531 and 14536.2 to, the Public Resources Code, relating to recycling.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2493, as amended, Bloom. Beverage container recycling: convenience zones recycling centers and payments.
(1) The California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act requires the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery to annually designate convenience zones and requires that at least one certified recycling center or location within every convenience zone accept all types of empty beverage containers and pay the refund value, if any, for those beverage containers at one location, and be open for business at least 30 hours per week, as provided. The act continuously appropriates to the department the amount necessary to pay handling fees to certain types of recyclers to provide an incentive for the redemption of empty beverage containers in convenience zones and prohibits the department from making handling fee payments to more than one certified recycling center within a convenience zone. Existing law defines convenience zone as either the area within a 12-mile radius of a supermarket or the area designated by the department in a rural region, as specified.

This bill, on or before December 1, 2020, would require the department to adopt regulations to redefine “convenience zone,” as specified. The bill would provide that recycling centers that received a handling fee immediately before the adoption of those regulations would remain eligible to receive handling fee payments if they meet all requirements that were applicable to eligible recycling centers in convenience zones immediately before the adoption of those regulations.

The act provides that a recycling center that consists of reverse vending machines or other unmanned automated equipment is “open for business,” for purposes of the requirement to be open 30 hours per week, if the equipment at the recycling center is properly functioning, accepting all types of empty beverage containers at the recycling location, and paying posted refund values no less than the minimums required by the act.
This bill would provide that a recycling center that meets those requirements is not required to have an employee present during the hours of operation in order to be “open for business.”
(2) Under the act, a beverage distributor is required to pay a redemption payment to the department for every beverage container sold or offered for sale in the state by the distributor, and the department is required to deposit those amounts in the California Beverage Container Recycling Fund. The money in the fund is continuously appropriated to the department to, among other things, pay refund values and administrative fees to processors. Additionally, under the act, the department is required to calculate a processing fee for each beverage container with a specified scrap value, which is required to be paid by beverage manufacturers for each beverage container sold or transferred to a distributor or dealer. Under the act, the processing fee is calculated based on the recycling rate for each particular container type, which determines the fee at a specified corresponding percentage of the processing payment for that particular container type.
This bill would specify that a payment made pursuant to the act, including, but not limited to, a handling fee payment, refund value payment, processing fee payment, or processing payment, may be made electronically.
(3) The act requires a certified recycling center to accept from any consumer or dropoff or collection program any empty beverage container and to pay to the consumer or dropoff or collection program the refund value of the beverage container. Existing regulations require payments to consumers to be in cash or by check or voucher that is immediately redeemable for cash.
This bill would require a recycling center to pay the refund value of a beverage container in cash or in another form of payment, including, but not limited to, in the form of a check or voucher, and would prohibit the department from requiring a recycling center that consists of reverse vending machines or other unmanned automated equipment to make that payment on the same day that the recycling center accepts the beverage container.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.Section 14509.4 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:
14509.4.

(a)“Convenience zone” means either of the following:

(1)The area within a one-half mile radius of a supermarket.

(2)The area designated by the department pursuant to Section 14571.5.

(b)This section shall become inoperative on the operative date of the regulations adopted pursuant to Section 14536.2 and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 2.Section 14509.4 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:
14509.4.

(a)“Convenience zone” means an area designated by the department pursuant to regulations adopted pursuant to Section 14536.2.

(b)This section shall become operative on the operative date of the regulations adopted pursuant to Section 14536.2.

SEC. 3.SECTION 1.

 Section 14531 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

14531.
 A payment made pursuant to this division, including, but not limited to, a handling fee payment, refund value payment, processing fee payment, or processing payment, may be made electronically.

SEC. 4.Section 14536.2 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:
14536.2.

(a)On or before December 1, 2020, the department shall adopt regulations to define “convenience zone.”

(b)In developing regulations pursuant to this section, the department shall do both of the following:

(1)Seek to increase redemption opportunities for consumers.

(2)Not adopt a definition for “convenience zone” that will result in the elimination or potential elimination of any existing consumer redemption opportunities.

(c)For convenience zones that were unserved immediately before the adoption of regulations pursuant to this section, the department may define “convenience zone” in a manner that makes possible, notwithstanding the requirements of Section 14571, increased consumer opportunities for redemption, if the redemption opportunities accept all types of empty beverage containers.

SEC. 5.SEC. 2.

 Section 14571 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

14571.
 (a) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, there shall be at least one certified recycling center or location within every convenience zone that accepts and pays the refund value, if any, at one location for all types of empty beverage containers and is open for business during at least 30 hours per week with a minimum of five hours of operation occurring during periods other than from Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(b) (1) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the department may require a certified recycling center to operate 15 of its 30 hours of operation other than during 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(2) Notwithstanding subdivision (a) and paragraph (1), the department may certify a recycling center that will operate less than 30 hours per week, if all of the following conditions are met:
(A) The recycling center is in a rural region. For purposes of this subparagraph, “rural region” means a nonurban area identified by the department on an annual basis using the loan eligibility criteria of the Rural Housing Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development Administration, or its successor agency. Those criteria include, but are not limited to, places, open country, cities, towns, or census designated places with populations that are less than 10,000 persons. The department may designate an area with a population of between 10,000 and 50,000 persons as a rural region, unless the area is identified as part of, or associated with, an urban area, as determined by the department on an individual basis.
(B) The recycling center agrees to post a sign indicating the location of the nearest recycling center that is open at least 30 hours per week and that will accept all material types.
(C) The needs of the community and the goals of this division will be best served by certification of the operation as a recycling center.
(c) Before establishing operating hours for a certified recycling center pursuant to subdivision (b), the department shall make a determination that this action is necessary to further the goals of this division and that the proposed operating hours will not significantly decrease the ability of consumers to conveniently return beverage containers for the refund value to a certified recycling center redeeming all material types.
(d) For purposes of this section, if the recycling center is staffed and is not a reverse vending machine, a center is “open for business” if all of the following requirements are met:
(1) An employee of the certified recycling center or location is present during the hours of operation and available to the public to accept containers and to pay the refund values.
(2) In addition to the sign specified in subdivision (h), a sign having a minimum size of two feet by two feet is posted at the certified recycling center or location indicating that the center or location is open. Where allowed by local zoning requirements or where zoning restrictions apply, the sign shall be of the maximum allowable size.
(3) The prices paid, by weight or per container, are posted at the location.
(e) (1) Except as provided in subdivision (f), for the purpose of this section, if the recycling center consists of reverse vending machines or other unmanned automated equipment, the center is “open for business” if the equipment is properly functioning, accepting all types of empty beverage containers at the recycling location, and paying posted refund values no less than the minimums required by this division.
(2) A recycling center that meets the requirements in paragraph (1) shall not be required to have an employee present during the hours of operation in order to be “open for business.”
(f) If a recycling center consists of reverse vending machines or other automated equipment, the recycling center is “open for business” if the equipment is properly functioning, and accepting all types of empty beverage containers at one physical recycling location within the recycling location.
(g) Whenever a recycling center that is a reverse vending machine is not “open for business” during the 30 hours of operation required and posted pursuant to this section and Section 14570, the dealer that is hosting the reverse vending machine at its place of business shall redeem all empty beverage container types at all open cash registers or one designated location in the store, as specified on the sign required pursuant to subdivision (h).
(h) In addition to the sign specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d), each reverse vending machine shall be posted with a clear and conspicuous sign on or near the reverse vending machine that states that beverage containers may be redeemed by the host dealer if the machine is nonoperational at any time during the required 30 hours of operation, pursuant to subdivision (g). The department shall determine the size and location of the sign and the message required to be printed on the sign.

SEC. 6.SEC. 3.

 Section 14572 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

14572.
 (a) (1) Except as provided in subdivision (b), a certified recycling center shall accept from any consumer or dropoff or collection program any empty beverage container, and shall pay to the consumer or dropoff or collection program the refund value of the beverage container.
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (3), the recycling center may pay the refund value based on the weight of returned containers.
(3) For beverage containers redeemed by consumers, a certified recycling center shall pay the refund value using the applicable segregated rate, as defined in paragraph (43) of subsection (a) of Section 2000 of Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations, as that section read on September 1, 2013, which shall be based on the weight of the redeemed beverage containers.
(4) The recycling center shall pay the refund value of a beverage container in cash or in another form of payment, including, but not limited to, in the form of a check or voucher. The department shall not require a recycling center that consists of reverse vending machines or other unmanned automated equipment to make payment for a beverage container pursuant to this paragraph on the same day that the recycling center accepts that beverage container.
(b) A recycling center or processor that was in existence on January 1, 1986, and that refused, as of January 1, 1986, to accept at a particular location a certain type of empty beverage container may continue to refuse to accept at the location the type or types of empty beverage containers that the recycling center or processor refused to accept as of January 1, 1986. A certified recycling center that refuses, pursuant to this subdivision, to accept a certain type or types of empty beverage containers is not eligible to receive handling fees unless the center agrees to accept all types of empty beverage containers and is a supermarket site. This subdivision does not preclude the certified recycling center from receiving a handling fee for beverage containers redeemed at supermarket sites that do accept all types of containers.
(c) The department shall develop procedures by which recycling centers and processors that meet the criteria of subdivision (b) may recertify to change the material types accepted.
(d) (1) Only a certified recycling center may pay the refund value to consumers or dropoff or collection programs. A person shall not pay a noncertified recycler for empty beverage containers an amount that exceeds the current scrap value for each container type, which shall be determined in the following manner:
(A) For a plastic or glass beverage container, the current scrap value shall be determined by the department.
(B) For an aluminum beverage container, the current scrap value shall be not greater than the amount paid to the processor for that aluminum beverage container, on the date the container was purchased, by the location of end use, as defined in the regulations of the department.
(2) A person shall not receive or retain, for empty beverage containers that come from out of state, any refund values, processing payments, or administrative fees for which a claim is made to the department against the fund.
(3) Paragraph (1) does not affect curbside programs under contract with cities or counties.

SEC. 7.Section 14585 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:
14585.

(a)The department shall adopt guidelines and methods for paying handling fees to supermarket sites, nonprofit convenience zone recyclers, or rural region recyclers to provide an incentive for the redemption of empty beverage containers in convenience zones. The guidelines shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:

(1)Handling fees shall be paid on a monthly basis, in the form and manner adopted by the department. The department shall require that claims for the handling fee be filed with the department not later than the first day of the second month following the month for which the handling fee is claimed as a condition of receiving any handling fee.

(2)The department shall determine the number of eligible containers per site for which a handling fee will be paid in the following manner:

(A)Each eligible site’s combined monthly volume of glass and plastic beverage containers shall be divided by the site’s total monthly volume of all empty beverage container types.

(B)If the quotient determined pursuant to subparagraph (A) is equal to, or more than, 10 percent, the total monthly volume of the site shall be the maximum volume which is eligible for a handling fee for that month.

(C)If the quotient determined pursuant to subparagraph (A) is less than 10 percent, the department shall divide the volume of glass and plastic beverage containers by 10 percent. That quotient shall be the maximum volume that is eligible for a handling fee for that month.

(3)The department shall pay a handling fee per eligible container in the amount determined pursuant to subdivision (f).

(4)If the eligible volume in any given month would result in handling fee payments that exceed the allocation of funds for that month, as provided in subdivision (b), sites with higher eligible monthly volumes shall receive handling fees for their entire eligible monthly volume before sites with lower eligible monthly volumes receive any handling fees.

(5)(A)If a dealer where a supermarket site, nonprofit convenience zone recycler, or rural region recycler is located ceases operation for remodeling or for a change of ownership, the operator of that supermarket site, nonprofit convenience zone recycler, or rural region recycler shall be eligible to apply for handling fees for that site for a period of three months following the date of the closure of the dealer.

(B)Every supermarket site operator, nonprofit convenience zone recycler, or rural region recycler shall promptly notify the department of the closure of the dealer where the supermarket site, nonprofit convenience zone recycler, or rural region recycler is located.

(C)Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), any operator who fails to provide notification to the department pursuant to subparagraph (B) shall not be eligible to apply for handling fees.

(b)The department may allocate the amount authorized for expenditure for the payment of handling fees pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 14581 on a monthly basis and may carry over any unexpended monthly allocation to a subsequent month or months. However, unexpended monthly allocations shall not be carried over to a subsequent fiscal year for the purpose of paying handling fees but may be carried over for any other purpose pursuant to Section 14581.

(c)(1)The department shall not make handling fee payments to more than one certified recycling center in a convenience zone. If a dealer is located in more than one convenience zone, the department shall offer a single handling fee payment to a supermarket site located at that dealer. This handling fee payment shall not be split between the affected zones. The department shall stop making handling fee payments if another recycling center certifies to operate within the convenience zone without receiving payments pursuant to this section, if the department monitors the performance of the other recycling center for 60 days and determines that the recycling center is in compliance with this division. Any recycling center that locates in a convenience zone, thereby causing a preexisting recycling center to become ineligible to receive handling fee payments, is ineligible to receive any handling fee payments in that convenience zone.

(2)The department shall offer a single handling fee payment to a rural region recycler located anywhere inside a convenience zone, if that convenience zone is not served by another certified recycling center and the rural region recycler does either of the following:

(A)Operates a minimum of 30 hours per week in one convenience zone.

(B)Serves two or more convenience zones, and meets all of the following criteria:

(i)Is the only certified recycler within each convenience zone.

(ii)Is open and operating at least eight hours per week in each convenience zone and is certified at each location.

(iii)Operates at least 30 hours per week in total for all convenience zones served.

(d)The department may require the operator of a supermarket site, or the operator of a rural region recycler, receiving handling fees to maintain records for each location where beverage containers are redeemed, and may require the supermarket site or rural region recycler to take any other action necessary for the department to determine that the supermarket site or rural region recycler does not receive an excessive handling fee.

(e)The department may determine and utilize a standard container per pound rate, for each material type, for the purpose of calculating volumes and making handling fee payments.

(f)(1)On or before January 1, 2008, and every two years thereafter, the department shall conduct a survey pursuant to this subdivision of a statistically significant sample of certified recycling centers that receive handling fee payments to determine the actual cost incurred for the redemption of empty beverage containers by those certified recycling centers. The department shall conduct these cost surveys in conjunction with the cost surveys performed by the department pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 14575 to determine processing payments and processing fees. The department shall include, in determining the actual costs, only those allowable costs contained in the regulations adopted pursuant to this division that are used by the department to conduct cost surveys pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 14575.

(2)Using the information obtained pursuant to paragraph (1), the department shall then determine the statewide weighted average cost incurred for the redemption of empty beverage containers, per empty beverage container, at recycling centers that receive handling fees.

(3)The department shall determine the amount of the handling fee to be paid for each empty beverage container by subtracting the amount of the statewide weighted average cost per container to redeem empty beverage containers by recycling centers that do not receive handling fees from the amount of the statewide weighted average cost per container determined pursuant to paragraph (2).

(4)The department shall adjust the statewide average cost determined pursuant to paragraph (2) for each beverage container annually to reflect changes in the cost of living, as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor or a successor agency of the United States government.

(5)The cost information collected pursuant to this section at recycling centers that receive handling fees shall not be used in the calculation of the processing payments determined pursuant to Section 14575.

(g)The department may update the methodology and scrap values used for calculating the handling fee from the most recent cost survey if it finds that the handling fee resulting from the most recent cost survey does not accurately represent the actual cost incurred for the redemption of empty beverage containers by those certified recycling centers.

(h)Notwithstanding the regulations adopted pursuant to Section 14536.2 defining convenience zone, a recycling center that received a handling fee for the reporting period immediately before the adoption of those regulations shall remain eligible to receive handling fee payments pursuant to this section if it meets all of the requirements that were applicable to eligible recycling centers in convenience zones immediately before the adoption of those regulations.